Before the Detroit Lions open training camp in a week, they will have to determine if any players should go on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. In the preseason, going on the PUP list simply means that players can't practice until they are taken off it. Roster spots aren't freed up, and players are eligible to be activated from the PUP list as soon as they're ready to practice.
This year, there are a few candidates for the PUP list, one of whom is rookie wide receiver TJ Jones. He missed the Lions' mandatory minicamp last month because of minor shoulder surgery, and based on what he told the Free Press, it's not clear at this time if he will be ready to go for the start of training camp.
"It’s set me back a little bit," Jones said today of his injury. "I wouldn’t think it’s a major setback. Obviously, we’re going to meet with the staff, meet with the training staff, see how they feel it’s healed over the last couple weeks and then just go from there."
Generally speaking, going on the PUP list is a precautionary move more than anything. Players can only end up on the regular season version of the PUP list (which does free up roster spots) if they start training camp on it, so even the smallest of injuries can land guys on the PUP list at the beginning of training camp. In Jones' case, for example, he might miss the first day or two of camp if he goes on the PUP list, but unless the Lions feel like his injury could force him to miss time in the regular season, there'd be no sense in keeping him off the practice field if he's healthy enough to participate.
Other candidates for the PUP list include running back Joique Bell and defensive end Ziggy Ansah. Bell was sidelined by a nagging knee injury as recently as last month, but he has since been cleared to run at full speed, so the Lions may not even bother with putting him on the PUP list. As for Ansah, he's been recovering from shoulder surgery for much of the offseason, and it's unclear if he will be 100 percent when training camp begins. He could land on the PUP list as a result, but again, it would be a precautionary move more than anything.